Sleep problems actually constitute a global epidemic which threatens health as well as quality of life for almost 45% of the world’s population. This is according to the World Sleep Society, which is a non-profit organisation of sleep professionals which is dedicated to promoting sleep health worldwide.
Add to that the multiple stressors that have been caused by the pandemic, including illness in addition to loss of life, job loss, social isolation and mental health issues, and it’s amazing that we get any sleep at all.
One of the ways to try to get good sleep is by exercising. Vigorous exercisers, who were surveyed by the National Sleep Foundation, reported that they were almost twice as likely to report high-quality, regular sleep as compared to non-exercisers.
Exercising is great for your body as well as your mind. In addition, it can also help you get a good night’s sleep. However, for some individuals, exercising too late in the day could interfere with how well they sleep at night.
Based on available studies, there is solid evidence which states that exercise does, in fact, help you fall asleep far more quickly as well as improving sleep quality. However, there’s still some debate as to what time of day you should exercise. Listen to your body to see how well you sleep in response to when you work out.
How Does Exercising Impact Sleep?
There are many advantages to exercising regularly. These include:
- A lower risk of diseases such as cancer and diabetes,
- Improved physical function, as well as
- An enhanced higher quality of life.
Exercising may also benefit certain groups. For instance, pregnant women who take part in routine physical activity will be less likely to gain an unnecessary amount of weight or experience postpartum depression. Elderly people who exercise are at a decreased risk of being injured in a fall.
Exercising also improves sleep for many individuals. Specifically, moderate-to-vigorous exercise could increase sleep quality for adults by lowering sleep onset – or the time that it takes to fall asleep – and lower the amount of time that they lie awake in bed during the night. In addition, physical activity can help to alleviate daytime sleepiness and, for some individuals, reduce the need for sleep medications.
In addition, exercise can improve sleep in indirect ways. For example, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity could decrease the risk of excessive weight gain, which in turn makes that individual less likely to experience symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Approximately 60% of moderate to severe OSA cases have been attributed to obesity.
How Much Exercise Is Necessary For Better Sleep?
The good news is that people who engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise might see a difference in their quality of sleep that same night. It’s usually not going to take months or years in order to see a benefit. Patients don’t need to feel as if they have to train for an ultramarathon to become a better sleeper.
Furthermore, while many studies concentrate on aerobic activity and sleep, picking an exercise you like will assist you to stick with it. For instance, power lifting or an active yoga class can increase your heart rate, assisting to create the biological processes in the brain as well as body which contribute to better quality sleep.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of exercising, then you need to do our Personal Training Diploma. Follow this link to read more.